PLANS outlining the future of Rawtenstall town centre will be unveiled by architects next weekend.

Developers and councillors will meet residents, business owners and traders to discuss their vision for the former Valley Centre site on Friday and Saturday.

A £2.5m public square was opened off Bank Street in October 2012, but now those in charge of the town centre want the public’s views on the ‘masterplan’ which has been drawn up to take the scheme forward.

Last November, the Rossendale Together Barnfield (RTB) Partnership - comprising Rossendale Council, Together Housing and Barnfield Investment Properties - appointed Manchester firm Day Architectural Ltd as lead architects to develop design ideas for the project.

Representatives from all organisations will reveal the draft plans at Longholme Methodist Church, in Bacup Road, Rawtenstall, at midday on Friday.

Rossendale Council leader, Councillor Alyson Barnes, said: “I know that many people have been anxious about how the town square will be developed and this is a fantastic opportunity to speak with the architects and discuss ideas.

“This is very much the first stage of consultation and is very much about hearing what people have to say and there will be more consultation to come during this year as the plans become more developed and ideas firmed up.

“It’s really important that we get this right and we’ll spend as much time as needed on the plans to make sure we do.”

The plans will be on display from midday to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm on Friday and from 10am to 7pm on Saturday - a slot extended from its original finishing time of 4pm after Rawtenstall Chamber of Commerce said some sole traders would be unable to attend during the day.

Tim Webber, vice-chairman of the RTB Partnership and managing director of Barnfield Investment Properties, said: “There’s a lot to do this year and the Partnership is fully committed to getting the right development for Rawtenstall.

“There are a number of exciting schemes coming forward as well as the Valley Centre and we'll hopefully be able to release more information very soon.”